Do you want to write nonfiction with the skills of a ninja but not sure where to start? Get your feet wet writing for magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals.
To train in and sharpen your nonfiction skills, it’s okay (I even encourage you!) to write for the no-pay/low-pay market. This is where they pay you about three cents a word or nothing at all except complimentary contributor’s copies of the magazine you’re published in. Your key payback is that you watch your published credits build while your confidence and skills at executing published nonfiction grow.
I’ve written for the no-pay/low-pay market for years. An added perk? Most editors who work in the no-pay/low-pay market want to climb the rope and work toward the top of their game just like you do. Chances are, they’ll want to bring you with them.
For example, one day I got a phone call from a publisher I’d never worked with before. A publisher of nonfiction books. An editor I worked with in the no-pay/low-pay magazine market just got hired to work for this publisher and recommended my name as a potential author for their new project. Would I be interested in writing four holiday books for them?
The result? Four work-for-hire book contracts! True Books: Earth Day, Independence Day, Passover, and Easter. Four nice unexpected paychecks I hadn’t calculated into my income yet that year.
Do you want to be a professional ninja of published children’s nonfiction books, but aren’t sure how to take your career to the next level? Start landing assignments writing for the no-pay/low-pay market or other magazines and periodicals. For information on magazines and their writer guidelines, go to Evelyn B. Christensens's extensive listings at Writing for Children's Magazines. Go to Ev's site as well as look in a current children’s writers market guide.
You’ll soon be climbing your way to success!
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